poemimage

Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary.

Transfiguration

A poetry video from eight years ago I made with a professional camera operator and video/audio editor, location sound mixer, a drummer, public domain silent film (masters!) footage, Spanish & French translation, urban footage…  

Ghostly Spirit in the GIF, a Glitch… Reminding Me of My Brother

The ultimate glitch is mortality. Or maybe we discover the ultimate glitch after encountering finally the mortal moment. My late brother was a musician, and my speculative fiction in the previous post moving from mumbo jumbo about non-sequiturs and fictive art into King Solomon appropriating the camera used to record a Moody Blues concert film, reminded me of a music instruction book he wrote with some deliberately outlandish claims about music history.

I miss my difficult brother.

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I must again thank the Canada Council for the Arts who funded my GIF project with the Digital Originals program. My project is finished now but the CC support was of great assistance and meaningful in developing a digital approach.

Ghostly Spirit in the Camera

These momentary artifacts of glitch attributed possibly & probably to film degradation might also be attributed, say, to a ghostly spirit in the camera interfacing with the filming of a Moody Blues performance – bearing in mind the history of image in non-sequiturs even Picasso claimed his paintings were non-sequiturs & bearing in mind the history of fictive art and the creation of fictive personas in this genre & beyond considering only a ghostly spirit in this cheery absurdity or finality one could speculate on migrating birds, say, or a pterodactyl hunting, say, or old wise King Solomon himself whom we rarely think of sitting full lotus on a finely woven flying carpet timeline-jumping into the astral zones or ascending into the Akashic Records or descending into the physical geography of his kingdom surveying wisely & contemplating, say, or swooping low to sample grapes or fall in love, say, or help strangers discover their destination, say, or suggesting the camera itself be examined & brought to his magicians allowing it has mysteriously been recording arcane vibrations in tandem with ancient history.

Guardian Spirit

His appearance gnarled & guardian spirit-like. Or she. Or it. My first blog posting since the computer crash left me with an uncooperative faded & dated tablet to work with. I found a recommended refurbished MAC store, across town, near where where I once walked the dog. The dog I haven’t seen in a long time. Circumstances change and life continues marching. Or standing there throughout four seasons with wooden round owlish eyes. Or sinking into the underground, the underworld, gnarled roots entertaining coincidence and circumstance. Blooming & shedding the bloom. Alarmed. Observant. Older. Amused. Walking the dog and not walking the dog.

Gif Experiments:12 (Creating digital images from ancient sources to accompany related text)

I adapted the sort of art & design nobody signed their name to for the digital collages in this GIF: book covers and a couple B&W illustrations exploring ancient/antiquarian themes & styles. These digital collages are a ‘mash-up’ (remember that term?) and thus, one could say, new works. I continue creating GIFS using vignettes, or anecdotes, from my December, 2019 literary non-fiction book Meme-Noir.

The vignette here is, I suppose, something that happens when the body creates a metaphor or connects to memory in DNA. It relates to the feeling of the images I worked with.

This is a GIF because it is created in a GIF format but it is inordinately long, almost two minutes, with a huge image file. I will create smaller, more ‘traditional’ GIFS from this group of images.

 

 

 

 

 

GIF Experiments:11 (A recent image conveys the past & the distance in-between)

A couple years ago, after decades and half the continent away, Howard visited. We walked around the bay down by the lake. His wife waited on a bench. They took me to an Indian restaurant for dinner. This GIF tells one story about our youthful friendship. I’m in the hat.

 

Developing Images

I scanned an ink drawing done in 2010. I did hundreds of smaller and larger drawings for an exhibition in 2011 of 66 works. This one didn’t make the final cut although I don’t know why.

For much of Monday and half of Tuesday this week I created digital manipulations in Photoshop of the original drawing.

Much of my knowledge of Photoshop comes from exploring but I was fortunate to take a digital design class with an expert.

He was preparing the class for careers in advertising or editorial design. I was the oldest person in the class. The others were all whizzes with software and keyboard shortcuts, etc… I was like a farmer with a mule.

The original drawing has now given birth to 122 images. I scanned the original at 1200 dpi so the images are sharp and succinct. Take them down to 300 dpi to print a book, maybe add text – or leave them as digital collages. Somehow around #80 or so this figure emerged, imagined as the young woman from a poem (written this week) named Mary.

One, of course, should let the work sit and later evaluate it but for now I am feeling none-too-precious about words and ideas. I just might leave it raw and imperfect.

The image of the cross to accompany the Vosnesensky poem I am Goya came from rearranging the comics or graphic novel-type panels. A lot of those in the final 25/122.

I realized after posting I am Goya that I had also posted this poem in poemimage on the last day of November in 2012. Around that time my great journey into loss was underway. I survived. Relating this work by Vosnesensky (& knowing its monumental & historical subject matter) to personal psyche is perhaps not trivial. The word ‘bookends’ comes to mind.

I am Goya by Andrei Andreyevich Vosnesensky

I am Goya
of the bare field, by the enemy’s beak gouged
till the craters of my eyes gape
I am grief

I am the tongue
of war, the embers of cities
on the snows of the year 1941
I am hunger

I am the gullet
of a woman hanged whose body like a bell
tolled over a blank square
I am Goya

O grapes of wrath!
I have hurled westward
the ashes of the uninvited guest!
and hammered stars into the unforgetting sky – like nails

I am Goya

Translated by Stanley Kunitz in Antiworlds

Vosnesensky recites I am Goya in Russian accompanied by an image of Goya:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcGwdfsTDas&feature=emb_rel_end

I received a book on the Spanish artist Goya – the biography by Robert Hughes – for Christmas. It’s in the queue. I’m finishing a book on Picasso set in Paris in the early 1900s. He’s working on Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and in competition with Matisse. The author, Miles J. Unger, puts a  fair amount of detail into Picasso’s Spanish youth and trips home.

During the first lockdown I watched many (contemporary) Russian TV (episodic) programs about WW2. Some incorporated archival footage. Vosnesensky, born in Moscow, was 8 or 9 during the Nazi invasion, encirclement, and Battle of Moscow.

 

 

 

GIF Experiments:10 (Circling a small body of words)

‘Circling a small body of words’ sounds like building a campfire or hunting for survival. I am still dealing with one vignette on page 70. Still walking to Eurydice’s car with her (continuing from GIF Experiments:8) and now answering her question. When creating the GIF I am aiming for a variety of textures and movement that convey emotions.

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